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April 7th, 2017 Update!
As you know from previous updates, the Rotary club of Guelph has started a project in the Canadian Arctic to help children hear better in Nunavut. Their project was the recipient of a $300,000 award from the Arctic Inspiration Prize in January 2016 for BHENY - Better hearing in Education for Northern Youth and involves outfitting all JK - grade 5 classrooms in the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut with soundfield amplification systems. A large part of the project is ensuring sustainability through training and building capacity in the north, to improve the lives of children with hearing loss living in this region of Canada.  Arlene Komangapik, Student Support Assistant from Ulaajuk School in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, is a local expert now on these systems. She traveled to Southern Ontario in February this year to help create sound field system training videos.  Arlene recorded videos on topics such as how to use the systems and accessories, and how to troubleshoot and fix problems when they occur, in English and Inuktitut.  It was wonderful to have such a competent, bilingual person offer her time for Bheny.   These short videos will be available in all Qikiqtani schools for training and technical support, and will complement the print materials already available in English and Inuktitut. While in Guelph Arlene shared her culture with RC Guelph's Indigenous Awareness Committee. The project continues to welcome support from anyone interested. FYI, a donation of $3,000 will outfit one classroom with a personal MyLink headset and a DynaMic.  Contact Rotarians Lynne McCurdy or Terrie Jarvis if your club would like to participate.
 
October 2016 Update
 
The BHENY project has initiated its first launch in two communities.  The elementary schools in Pond Inlet and Pangnirtung, Nunavut are now equipped with Soundfield amplification systems.  All classroom teachers and Student Support Assistants were trained in their use and to troubleshoot, should the technology need repair. Training also included professional development connecting hearing loss to gaps in language, literacy and social well-being. A Hearing Fair for the parents and children was also held in both communities and proved to be very successful in teaching about hearing loss, hearing protection and removing the stigma attached to wearing hearing aids.  A second implementation is planned for 2 more communities this month.  To date, funding has been received from the Rotary Club of Guelph, the RCOG Foundation, ELKS Iqaluit and private donations. In January, BHENY was selected as one of three winners for the Arctic Inspiration Prize which awarded them $300,000. An application to the Hear the World Fund has also been approved, providing the equipment for Phase Three of the project. The project will welcome support from anyone else interested. FYI, a donation of $3,000 will outfit one classroom with a personal MyLink headset and a DynaMic.  Contact Rotarians Lynne McCurdy or Terrie Jarvis if your club would like to participate.
 
January 28th, 2016  Update!
 
The Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth project is one of 3 recipients for this year's Arctic Inspiration Prize.  The winners were announced by Governor General David Johnston in Ottawa last night.  The BHENY project received $300,000.  The other two projects to receive prizes were the Tri-Territorial Recreation Training Project to train northern recreation leaders and Qaggiq: Nurturing the Arctic Performing Arts, a program to support Arctic performing artists.  Read more at http://www.cbc.ca/1.3423089.